Asteroid Mining

The Idea: It's time to exploit space

Stage: Slightly beyond sci-fi

Since resources are running out here on Earth, the value of rare metals and minerals may someday be worth the cost of lunar or asteroid mining, especially when you consider that deep sea drilling requires investments of billions of dollars. "It's an area of personal passion," says Peter Diamandis, commercial space pioneer and founder of the X PRIZE Foundation. "If you realize that everything we hold of value on earth is in near-infinite quantities in space, you realize there will be vast wealth created on the space frontier." Diamandis is not concerned with the difficulties inherent in mining an asteroid; he's already convinced it's possible and lucrative. "It's really about taking the steps and clarifying the regulatory structure of who owns these resources."

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